Thursday, August 31, 2017

Masale Bhaat

The word 'Masale' in Marathi means spices and 'Bhaat' means Rice.  As the name suggests, its a spicy and flavourful variety of rice. Traditionally, Masale Bhaat is made with either Ivy Gourd or Egg Plant / Aubergine along with Green Peas or Potatoes. Masale Bhaat is called 'Tondli Bhaat' when made with Ivy Gourd and 'Vangi Bhaat' when made with Aubergine. However, usage of vegetables like Carrots, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, French Beans, etc.should be avoided as it takes away the authentic taste and will make it taste like regular Pulao. This rice can also be made without using any vegetables as well.  

Masale Bhaat is not a every day delicacy and is reserved especially for special occasions like weddings, thread ceremonies, mangalagaur, poojas and so on. Onion and Garlic is not used in the preparation of this recipe as this served as an offering to God. Although, some regions of Maharashtra use Onion Garlic in their preparation. 

Approx. Time: 30 minutes (excluding pre-preparation)

Yield: 3-4 people

2 cups Basmati Rice 
5 cups Water (2.5 times of rice)
3/4 cup vertically chopped Ivy Gourd (Scarlet Gourd / Tondli) 
3/4 cup Green Peas 
tbspn Maharashtrian Black Masala (Goda Masala) 
1/2 cup Cashew nuts
1/2 cup Full Cream Yoghurt (Curd/ Dahi)
1/2 cup scrapped fresh Coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped Cilantro (Coriander leaves)
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
4 tbspns Vegetable Oil 
1/2 tspn Mustard Seeds
1/2 tspn Cumin seeds (or Royal Cumin i.e. Shahjeera)
1/4 tspn Asafoetida Powder
1 tspn Turmeric Powder
10-12 Curry leaves
4 chopped Green Chillies

For Garnishing:
Freshly scrapped Coconut
Finely chopped fresh Cilantro 
Ghee  (Sajuk Tup)
Lemon wedge

Optional Ingredients:
1 tspn Coriander Cumin Powder
1 tspn Sugar 

Wash Rice with plain water in a colander and drain. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes. 

Heat oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is heated, add the Mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add then Cumin seeds, Asafoetida powder, Turmeric Powder, Curry leaves and chopped Green chillies. Then add the vertically chopped Ivy Gourd and Green Peas. Saute it for 2 minutes. Then add the washed Basmati rice and saute it for 3-4 minutes. Also stir in the Salt, Cashew nuts and Black Masala (Goda Masala). 

Simultaneously, keep a little more than 5 cups of water to boil so that it gets reduced to 5 cups at the boiling stage. Use of hot water makes this rice more light and each grain gets separated. 

Pour in the boiling water to the uncooked rice mixture. Finally add the Yoghurt and stir. At this point check and adjust the seasoning by tasting the water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the rice on medium low heat. The rice gets cooked in approximately 15 minutes . Avoid stirring the rice in between as it leads to breaking of rice grains. Once done, add the scrapped fresh Coconut and finely chopped Cilantro. Turn off the flame. While serving, drizzle a teaspoon of Ghee and garnish it with scrapped coconut and chopped Cilantro with a lemon wedge alongside. 

1. In case Maharashtrian Goda Masala is not available, you may use Garam Masala. Even combination of Goda Masala and Garam Masala tastes good. 
2. The measure of water i.e. 2.5 times of rice is for old Basmati Rice. The same may have to be modified according to the age and type of rice. 
3. Masale Bhaat can be made without using Ivy Gourd or Green Peas also. It tastes equally good. 
4. The optional ingredient - Coriander-Cumin powder should be added along with Goda Masala and Sugar should be added at the end along with scrapped Coconut and Cilantro. 
5. You may also add a Bay leaf and few Cloves in tempering. 

Stepwise Pictures:

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